October 21, 2018

KeyBank Review: Account Good for You?

Read more about KeyBank
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Are you looking for a no-frills checking account or maybe a bank that offers relationship banking services/interest rates? You may have found your fit with KeyBank.

Overall Score








Money Market


Customer Service


Mobile App

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • HelloWallet financial tools
  • Free checking option
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Limited branches
  • High account fees

Bottom Line

Bank with a variety of deposit products and great financial tools

This Cleveland-based bank has a large variety of checking, savings, and CD products to help you manage your money and help it grow. Whether you are just starting out and need a basic checking account or you have a lot of money to deposit and want to earn decent interest on it, KeyBank may have solutions for you.

Before you open an account, read this review to see if KeyBank is a good fit for you.

Services Offered


You can open a checking account with KeyBank online. It takes just a few minutes. They do offer a variety of ways to waive the monthly fees, and they have accounts that offer premium interest rates too. Each checking account comes with a KeyBank debit MasterCard and access to online/mobile banking.

  • KeyBank Hassle-Free Account: If you've jumped on the digital bandwagon, you may love this checkless checking account. That's right—you don't get checks with this account. Instead, you have access to online bill pay and online transfers. You can even pay friends and family digitally. You need $10 to open this account, but you don't have to meet minimum balance requirements. You also won't pay a monthly maintenance fee or overdraft charges on this account.

  • Key Express Checking Account: With just $50, you can open this checking account with paper checks. You can waive the monthly service fee by depositing at least $500 in your account each month or by using your account at least eight times. This checking account provides access to KeyBank's financial wellness tools.

  • Key Advantage Checking Account: If you would like to earn interest on your money in your checking account, the Key Advantage account may be a good place to start. You need $50 to open the account. It's a little tough to waive the monthly fees on this one, though. You need at least $10,000 in combined KeyBank deposit accounts or have a KeyBank mortgage on autopay with at least $500 payments. KeyBank will reimburse third-party ATM fees up to $6 per month too.

  • Key Privilege Checking Account: This is a relationship banking product. With this checking account, KeyBank provides you with lower rates on loans and lines of credit and higher rates on savings and CD products. KeyBank also "sweeps" your account each night, automatically depositing "unused" cash into a KeyBank savings account. In order to waive the monthly service fee, you'll need a combined deposit amount of $25,000 or automatic payments on a KeyBank mortgage of at least $500. KeyBank will also reimburse you for up to $6 per month in other banks' charges for use of their ATM.

  • Key Privilege Select Checking Account: This is a premium relationship banking product. You'll have access to even lower rates on KeyBank loans and higher rates on CDs and savings products. You will need a minimum combined balance of $100,000 to waive the high monthly service fee, though. You can also have a KeyBank mortgage on autopay to waive the fee. KeyBank will send you a comprehensive bank statement, which will include all relationship banking products you have each month. You can receive unlimited reimbursement for all non-KeyBank ATM charges.

  • Key Student Checking Account: Students ages 16 to 24 can open this non-interest bearing account with $50. You can waive the monthly service fee with monthly $200 deposits or at least five transactions conducted per month. Students also have access to online and mobile banking.

Compare Checking Account Promotion

CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Savings Connect - 0.50% APY

  • Earn a competitive high yield savings rate with access and convenience features of an eChecking account.
  • Earn up to 0.50% APY on Savings Connect and 0.25% APY on eChecking.
  • Savings Connect is a tiered interest rate account dependent on the account holder opening a linked qualifying eChecking concurrently and makes periodic qualifying deposits.
    • Base Tier: (0.42% APY, 0.399% Interest Rate) A minimum qualifying deposit of $200 is not deposited each month into the linked eChecking or the eChecking account is closed.
    • Upper Tier: (0.50% APY, 0.499% Interest Rate) A qualifying deposit of $200 or more is deposited into the linked eChecking account each month.
    • APY assumes a qualifying deposit of $200 or more is made to the linked eChecking account each month.
  • Minimum of $100 for both the Savings Connect and eChecking to open ($200 total).
Member FDIC

HSBC Premier Checking - $450 Welcome Deposit

Expires 6/30/2021
  • Get a $450 Welcome Deposit for eligible new customers who open a new HSBC Premier checking account and complete the following qualifying activities.
  • Open your new HSBC Premier checking account online by June 30, 2021; and
  • Make recurring monthly Qualifying Direct Deposits totaling at least $5,000 from a third party to your HSBC Premier checking account(s) for 3 consecutive calendar months from the second full calendar month after account opening.
  • You will automatically receive the $450 Welcome Deposit in your new HSBC Premier checking account approximately eight weeks after completing all qualifying activities. It's that simple.
  • Deposit products are offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
Member FDIC

Introducing Chase Business Complete Banking℠ - $300 Bonus

Expires 7/23/2021
  • Earn $300 when you open a new Chase Business Complete Checking account. For new Chase business checking customers with qualifying activities.
  • More ways to waive fees. Multiple options to waive the Monthly Service Fee, including maintaining a minimum daily balance or purchases on your Chase Ink® Business credit card
  • Convenient access to payment processing. Accept card payments anytime, anywhere in the U.S., and get transparent pricing with Chase QuickAccept℠.
  • Same-day deposits with QuickAccept℠. Free up the cash you need to keep your business moving forward with same-day deposits at no additional cost.
  • Alerts to help you stay on top of your account activity.
  • Easy account management through Chase Business online and the Chase Mobile® app.
  • Unlimited electronic deposits, ACH and Chase Quick Deposit℠.
  • Convenient access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches.


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The KeyBank savings accounts give you access to online banking and the KeyBank ATM network. Each savings account may also be used to link to your KeyBank checking account(s) to be used for overdraft protection.

  • Key Active Saver Account: You can open this simple savings account with just $10. With a balance of at least $300 each month or direct deposit/automatic transfer of at least $5, you can waive the monthly service fees. You can also waive the fees by being enrolled in HelloWallet (more on that below) or having a Financial Wellness Score of at least one (more on that below).

  • Key Silver Money Market Savings Account: Earn money market account rates with this savings account if you have at least $5,000 to put in the account. If you have less, you may still earn higher interest rates than a standard savings account, but it won't be the highest rate. You can waive the monthly service fee with a $5,000 daily balance, direct deposit/automatic transfers of at least $25 each month, or have a Key Advantage, Key Privilege, or Key Privilege Select Checking account.

  • Key Gold Money Market Savings Account: With $25,000 to open an account, you can earn even higher interest rates on your money. You'll need to keep that $25,000 daily balance and have a KeyBank Advantage, Privilege, or Privilege Select Checking account to waive the service fee. This account also comes with check writing privileges (subject to the standard withdrawal limits on savings accounts).

  • Health Savings Account: If you have high medical costs, you can save money pre-tax and withdraw the funds for approved use tax-free. If you have another KeyBank checking account, you won't pay an annual fee for this account. Without a relationship banking count, you'll pay $10 per year. You can waive the monthly service fee with a minimum $500 balance or just by having a KeyBank checking account. You must have a high deductible medical plan in order to qualify (and not be on Medicare).

  • KEY4KIDS Savings Account: Kids ages 18 and under can open this savings account to learn how to start saving. They need just $10 to open the account and there is no monthly service fee. It does earn interest and they have access to online/mobile banking too.

Compare Savings Accounts

CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Savings Connect - 0.50% APY

  • Earn a competitive high yield savings rate with access and convenience features of an eChecking account.
  • Earn up to 0.50% APY on Savings Connect and 0.25% APY on eChecking.
  • Savings Connect is a tiered interest rate account dependent on the account holder opening a linked qualifying eChecking concurrently and makes periodic qualifying deposits.
    • Base Tier: (0.42% APY, 0.399% Interest Rate) A minimum qualifying deposit of $200 is not deposited each month into the linked eChecking or the eChecking account is closed.
    • Upper Tier: (0.50% APY, 0.499% Interest Rate) A qualifying deposit of $200 or more is deposited into the linked eChecking account each month.
    • APY assumes a qualifying deposit of $200 or more is made to the linked eChecking account each month.
  • Minimum of $100 for both the Savings Connect and eChecking to open ($200 total).
Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Online Savings Account - Earn 0.40% APY

  • No fees
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No minimum balance required
Axos Bank
Member FDIC

High Yield Savings - 0.61% APY

  • 0.61% APY on all balance tiers
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No fees to open or maintain account
  • Free ATM card upon request
  • FDIC Insured


  • Key Short Term CDs: The terms range between 7 days and 6 months on these CDs. You need $2,500 to open the account. Your money will automatically roll over into another term upon maturity unless you direct the bank to do otherwise.

  • Key Tiered CDs: Earn slightly more interest on CDs with terms between six months and 10 years and at least a $2,500 deposit. The interest is fixed for the term and the money will automatically roll over into another CD of the same term at the current market rate if you desire.

    KeyBank is offering a great promotional rate for their 13-month, 18-month, 27-month, 37-month, and 47-month term CDs. However, a $10,000 minimum deposit is required. This cannot be funds already held in accounts at KeyBank.

  • Key Jumbo CDs: If you have $100,000 or more, you can earn the highest interest rates with this CD program. It has maturity dates starting at just seven days and offers the ability to roll the money over into another equal term CD at maturity.

Compare CD Rates

CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Term CDs

  • Up to 0.50% APY
  • $1,000 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • FDIC insured
TermCD Rates
6 Month0.30% APY
1 Year0.30% APY
13 Month0.30% APY
18 Month0.30% APY
2 Year0.40% APY
3 Year0.40% APY
4 Year0.50% APY
5 Year0.50% APY
Continental Bank

High Yield CD - Earn up to 0.70%

  • 0.70% APY for 45-month term
  • 0.45% APY for 6-month term

Reasons We Like KeyBank

  • Know your Financial Wellness. You can get a picture of your financial wellness with the HelloWallet service. This program gives you a Financial Wellness Score. A lower score means you have some work to do and a higher score means you are doing well financially. It's a way to motivate you to alter your saving and spending until you reach the highest Financial Wellness score.

  • Lots of financial tools. You have access to a variety of tools and calculators to help you stay financially secure. A few options include an accelerated debt payoff calculator, college savings calculator, and personal debt payoff calculator, but there are seven more tools just for savings you can utilize, not to mention loan and retirement tools.

  • Short-term CDs. You have access to very short-term CD options. If tying up your funds for the long term scares you, try out a short-term CD. You can earn the higher rate of interest, even if it's only for 7 days. This may motivate you to find a way to tie up a portion of your funds for longer periods to earn the higher interest.

  • Relationship rates. You can increase the interest you earn just by opening a relationship account. KeyBank offers a variety of relationship accounts, some of which don't have crazy high minimum balance requirements. This gives you access to higher interest rates and more benefits than if you opened a standard checking/savings account.

  • Free mobile banking. You can use the KeyBank mobile app to conduct a variety of banking transactions. This includes depositing your checks from your phone, paying bills, managing your funds, and making transfers.

  • 24/7 customer service. You can contact customer service via phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just call 1-800-KEY2YOU to get answers to your banking questions. They also offer live chat during the hours of 7 AM to 10 PM (Monday-Friday) and 9 AM to 5:30 PM (Saturday and Sunday).

  • Bank by text. You can utilize "text banking" to get quick answers about your account. You must opt into the service in your online banking portal. Once you do, you can get information on your account balances and account history.

  • Overdraft protection services. You can set up overdraft protection in four ways. You can link a KeyBank savings account, apply for a KeyBank Preferred Credit Line, link your KeyBank credit card, or link your KeyBank Home Equity Line of Credit to your checking account. If you spend more than your checking account balance, KeyBank will take the funds from your linked account. This prevents the risk of overdraft charges and/or bounced checks.

  • FDIC Insured. Your money is protected with FDIC insurance. Each account has coverage up to $250,000; should KeyBank go out of business, your money is protected.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • High service fees. The monthly service fees on KeyBank's checking accounts are generally higher than other banks. If you don't meet the requirements to waive the fee a few times a year, the fees can really eat at your profits, defeating the purpose of trying to earn interest on your money.

  • Accessibility. If you don't live in one of the 16 states they are located in, you can't open an account. KeyBank is located in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

  • Miscellaneous banking fees. KeyBank tends to charge excessive fees. Make sure you read the fine print on your chosen account, as you could end up paying for paper statements, using a non-KeyBank ATM, and other standard banking transactions.

KeyBank Routing Number
Your KeyBank routing number will depend on the state you opened the account in. You can find your routing number on the bottom left-hand side of your checks.

How It Compares

Wells Fargo:
Wells Fargo has more than 10 times the number of ATMs as KeyBank and they are located in 39 states. Like KeyBank, Wells Fargo offers 24/7 customer service. Wells Fargo does have fewer options for a savings account than KeyBank and their interest rates tend to be low, as is common for big-name banks.

Located on the East Coast, PNC is focused on helping clients budget their money. They offer what they call the Virtual Wallet, which is a checking, savings, and money market account. They are also the most common bank to be found on college campuses, and they try to heavily influence college students to learn and understand how to save, budget, and invest.

You might also consider:

CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Savings Builder - Earn 0.40% APY

Earn up to 0.40% APY. Here's how it works: Maintain a minimum balance of $25k OR make at least a $100 minimum deposit every month. Member FDIC


Betterment Cash Reserve - Earn up to 0.30% APY

  • FDIC insurance covering up to $1,000,000 at program banks
  • Access cash in 1-2 business days
  • No minimum balance
  • No fees on balance
  • Unlimited withdrawals

Free Checking and Savings - $250 Bonus

Expires 4/26/2021
  • You could get a $200 bonus by opening a Free Checking account and receive at least one (1) qualifying Direct Deposit of at least $500 by June 30, 2021.
  • Increase your bonus to $250 by adding a BBVA Savings account and having a savings balance of at least $1000 on June 30, 2021.
  • (Offer only available in TX, AL, AZ, CO, CA, FL, NM)
  • Member FDIC.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a mid-size bank with good customer service and a decent number of deposit accounts, you may have found your fit with KeyBank. As long as you live in one of the 15 states that the bank resides in and you understand the costs involved with each account, it could be a viable way to help you get control of your finances.

Write to Kim P at daniela@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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